Facing flak for little or no use of Nirbhaya Funds for women’s safety, Ahmedabad Police has instituted an online public survey about women’s safety, to know about security concerns they face in their lives.
Sources said the survey of 6,000 women so far has revealed that they feel safer in public places than at home, workplace, college or some educational institute. The survey continues till January 12.
Meena (name changed to protect identity) is a middle-class housewife. In the survey form she filled up, she wrote that her father-in- law eyes her with lust but societal constraints prevent her from sharing it with her husband or other family members.
Farzana (name changed) has different issues. She works in a school and is sometimes subjected to unwanted and derogatory comments by her colleagues.
The survey has thrown up interesting revelations: Another woman has claimed in the form that her husband deprives her of money to spend on household things which frequently results in heated arguments between them and sometimes physical torture.
Consumption of liquor by the husband or family members also troubles women. Sunita (name changed) has mentioned that her husband who works with a private company consumes liquor regularly and then physically assaults her.
What about sexual ha- rassment? However, cops are patting their backs as very few women have commented on sexual harassment or eve-teasing at public places. This is because of strict policing and quick action taken by police against such elements, claimed a senior official.
Harassment at work place is another common issue which has come to light during the survey. It usually affects women at the highest or lowest positions in private or government offices, including corporate offices. Even women cops are unable to defend themselves against harassment at the workplace. A senior woman police official had submitted an application to the then DGP regarding harassment by a senior IPS official, who has now retired from the service. The complaint was probed by another IPS officer, who was an extension of the tormentor.
He had to relinquish his post following a PIL filed in the HC. The woman police officer could not gather courage to get her statement recorded.
Another example is of a serving IPS officer. His misbehaviour in Hyderabad with a senior woman IPS officer of a different cadre came to the notice of other IPS officers. Some of them submitted a written complaint to the then DGP of Gujarat.
The DGP reprimanded the IPS officer but put nothing in black and white. The IPS officer was asked to offer an unconditional apology to the woman IPS officer, known for her integrity and upright attitude in her own state.
Police sources said the survey is ongoing and more facts regarding women’s safety are expected to come out. “We will form a dedicated team of women police officials to address the issues and ensure women’s safety remains a top priority of the city police,” a senior official said.